Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®


Soccio, Paul S.; Phillips, W. Pryse MD; Bonisteel, Paul MD; Bennett, Kelly A. MD


Background Cytochrome oxidase–deficient mitochondrial myopathies represent a heterogeneous group of muscle disorders. Physical stress can cause life-threatening risks related to rhabdomyolysis or respiratory compromise.

Case A 21-year-old primigravida with cytochrome C oxidase–deficient mitochondrial myopathy who presented for obstetric care at 8 weeks' gestation complained of muscle fatigue and spasm after exertion. The increased metabolic demands of pregnancy led to worsening pain, muscle fatigue, and ultimately complete immobility.

Conclusion Cytochrome oxidase–deficient mitochondrial myopathies are rare but serious complications of pregnancy.

Pregnancy can be successful in women with cytochrome oxidase–deficient mitochondrial myopathy.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Neurology, and Family Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

Address reprint requests to: Kelly A. Bennett, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 300 Prince Phillip Drive, St. John's, Newfoundland A1B 3V6, Canada. E-mail:

Received July 27, 2000. Received in revised form October 26, 2000. Accepted December 12, 2000.

© 2001 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists